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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Scary Stuff

The winter doldrums have set in here. I feel defeated by a bunch of things. Anxiety is knocking the door down. Old fears are resurfacing. Doubts are persistant. Even the sky is dark and cloudy. It's about 4:30 and it's practically dark.
I thought it might make me feel better to write to you. Maybe some of you will comment back.......... We all have days or at least moments like this. As I have gotten older, these times come fewer and farther between. But they hit the dead center of the bull's eye of my worst fears. What are your worst fears? And when they knock at your door like the yapping of a dog insistent on registering his displeasure at being left outside, how do you handle them?
I think the fact that it's the holidays make it worse. There are too many good and bad memories that seem to show up year after year. And if we didn't have certain expectations, it wouldn't hurt when they are not met.
All these battles take place in my mind, and they are spiritual battles, which must be fought in the spiritual realm with spiritual weapons. We must gird our loins with truth (God's Word), put on the breastplate of righteousness, shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and take up the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
The other thing is to fill our minds with good thoughts. I don't mean just ignore whatever is not good, but to replace it with truth.
I hope things are good with you. Let me hear from you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marian

I would like to honor a friend who has gone home to be with the Lord:

Marian Collier

She is gone to be with her Lord and Master. So recently in our presence, it somehow makes me feel closer to Jesus as I hear in my mind what she surely has received and heard from Him - “Well done, my beloved daughter!”

Her beauty completed in stunning glory with release from the heavy weight of the body that held her to this earth. She has died in faith, having seen the promise of perfection from a distance – waiting in patience, enduring all that her Lord saw fit – offering her body as a living sacrifice in her service of worship of Him whom she loved.

We are not cast down, nor without hope in our longing for her, but rejoice immeasurably, knowing we will be reunited. Until that day, help us to walk the road You have ordained – to finish the journey that is ours.

We leave her in Your tender arms of healing and mercy and joy unimaginable. We are parted yet for a little – to be forever together with our Jesus.

Monday, November 14, 2011

You Shape the World Every Day

There is not a word spoken… or a deed done… that does not affect every person around. Well chosen words and acts will hit their intended mark as well as many unintended. Conversely, selfish and thoughtless expressions will injure and wound indiscriminately.
Either way these deeds and words spring from a person’s heart. Mean expressions come from meanness of heart, and kindness is the fruit of a loving heart. We all have parts of both. But there are times when for whatever reason, someone decides to put themselves first (to gratify self) even at the expense of another. One time builds upon another, ‘til it becomes a pattern. To continue in this direction requires lies and denial. To change requires a change of heart and attitude - sorrow.
But damage has been done - to relationships; to reputations, to self-respect (mine and yours)…. Unfortunately, just being sorry (even truly and sincerely sorry) will not repair the damage already done. Trust has been broken. Lies have built walls to keep out more hurt. Pain has bred anger.
Now the question is, “Do I want to repair for my part what I’ve broken?“, or, “Do I care?“. The one will require humility - confession and restitution. The other, nothing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

From a Dull Ache to Praise and Prayer

The ache is dull…. The one that goes through all of me….

We've all had days like that. We seem to sometimes get caught up in a fog of pain and despondency. The antidote is prayer which is praise, thanks and communion with our God:

Father, I praise Your name, because You are holy; You are love; You are mighty and courageous; Your power is limitless; and yet………….. You make Yourself small, so I can know You.
Forgive me that I cannot understand all that You are, and all that You have done, and just how deep Your love for me goes. Here I am, Lord……… Please heal me. Turn my heart back to You. You are all that I need. I confess my total dependency upon you. Give me a piece of Your truth right now, that will minister to my need. Restore me…………. Completely.
I wish to stand for You. Use me, Lord. Restore the passion to my heart that is Yours. Please inspire me to do all of Your will.

From Your daughter, Anna.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Anything is Possible!

Anything is possible today! I believe in the spiritual realm things are always happening that we have not even conceived of. Incredible miracles. We are so limited in our sight and our view, we are aware of very little. But God is working and loving all the time. After all, He went to the nth degree when He sent His only Son to save us and redeem us, then to help us to live to the fullest. Do you think He is doing any less today? If we could see everything that God is doing, it would overwhelm us! The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known."

Here on earth, with our partial knowlege and limited sight, we are distressed and hopeless before we ever get out of bed. But look up and have faith! God cares about what goes on and He cares for our loved ones far more than we do! He cares that we are afflicted, perplexed, forsaken, and struck down (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)! He cares that we are having trouble holding it all together! And He's doing something about it. Believe it. "For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." (2 Corinthians 4:11)

Ask Him to show you and open up to you some of the secret ways He is moving and working on your behalf today. Ask Him to help you think outside of the box. Tell Him you need help to "see" what He is doing.

You are loved. Don't be fooled into thinking that you are any less than His beloved.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to Handle Suffering

Job's pain and Unjust Suffering Did Not Prove to be a Barrier to Receiving God's Blessing and Love


Scripture describes Job as blameless and upright – a man who shunned evil and one who was blessed and protected by God.

Suddenly and for no reason Job could discern, everything he had was taken from him – family, money, health, marriage and even friends turned on him.

IN ALL OF THIS JOB DID NOT SIN BY CHARGING GOD WITH WRONGDOING.

He eloquently and powerfully expressed his pain – his questions:

“After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: 'May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, “A boy is born!”
that day – may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it. May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light. That night – may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. May those who curse days curse that day.'” (Job 3:1-8)

“I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 7:11)

“If I speak my pain is not relieved and if I refrain, it does not go away.” (Job 16:6)

Job found that his “trusted friends” gave him bad counsel. “Now you too have proved to be of no help.” (Job 6:21)
Job verbally affirms the character of God:
“Though one wished to dispute with him, he could not answer him one time out of a thousand. His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place and makes it pillars tremble. He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” (Job 9:3-10)

Job doesn't stuff his pain or try to deal with it by not confronting it:

“If I say, ' I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression and smile,' I still dread all my suffering.... (Job 9:27)
“He takes his complaint and addresses God” (Job 10:2-12)
Job tried seeking comfort from his friends but the result was:
“miserable comforters are you all!” (Job 16:1)
In spite of earthly sorrows, pain and suffering, Job keeps things in perspective:
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
Finally, Job hears from God. The Lord speaks. Read Job, chapters 38-41.

Job was validated:

“After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.... My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly.
The final result:
Job had an incredible encounter with God. His faith was refined. “The Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10) Though much of what God restored was worldly gain, the most incredible part to me is that there was an exchange between the God of the universe - the Creator - and Job - one man. Job was humbled before God and at the same time elevated and blessed beyond description.